Sex is what a lot of people look for to meet their deepest desires. Some of you want sex so badly that you’re having it now even though you’re not married. Others of you burn for sex but are a “good kid” who doesn’t have sex before marriage so you’re turning to porn and fantasy, or if you’re not doing that you’re feeling ripped off by having to “stay pure.” Still others of you are so defined by your sexual desires and orientation that they direct where you live, who your friends are, and how you present yourself to the world.
You may not say it, but sex is the most important thing to you, more than following God, and you can’t imagine that God could ever satisfy you like sex can. I’ll say it for you – sex is your idol, and maybe even your god. Or even if it’s not that extreme for you, your sexual desires affect you more than you’d like them to, and you’re wondering why you struggle so much with them even though you’re a Christian. Isn’t God supposed to take care of that?
Sex is a good thing and a gift from God, but like everything else in the world it was twisted by sin in the Fall. The gift became more important than the Giver, and we threw out the guidebook too, looking to use sex in the way that seemed best to us. Like we talked about last Tuesday at The Porch, as a culture, and as individuals, we have overlooked God’s clear instruction and have prioritized our preferences over truth when it comes to sex.
The Bible has something to say about sex, struggles, and where to find true satisfaction. Let’s dig in.
Death and destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes (Proverbs 27:20).
When it comes to sex, you’ll always want more than what you have. Your eyes will never truly be satisfied by what they take in, whether it’s a person in real life or on a screen. I think we all know the feeling…the last time you looked at porn was the “last time,” until you wanted to look again, which you probably did. The last time you hooked up with that guy was the “last time,” until you saw him or another guy and did it all over again, because you forgot what it felt like to not want to.
The reality is that there isn’t ever a true “last time” when it comes to sexual desire and temptation. The more times you give into your sexual desires, the less you feel satisfied by what you’re doing, and more extreme you need to get to feel that same hit of pleasure. Your eyes will always want to take in more.
This is dangerous if you keep giving in to the desires, but it’s also normal and common to be tempted sexually, so you don’t need to feel like a crazy deviant just because the desires are there. Being tempted by sin is part of being a sinful human being. The important thing is, how are you responding to those desires?
If my heart has been led by my eyes…that would have been wicked, a sin to be judged (Job 31:7, 11).
Many of you have probably heard that it’s important to guard your heart. Your heart in this case represents your inner desires, will, and feelings. Guarding your heart means that you’re careful about what you let into it, because everything that you do flows out from it.
If your heart isn’t fully satisfied, it’s because you’re not guarding it well, and you’re feeding it things that don’t fully satisfy. Follow me on this – since your eyes can never be satisfied sexually, if they are leading your heart, then your heart will never be satisfied either! Your heart is asking the question, “what should I want?”, and your eyes will always answer, “more!” no matter what they are looking at. It’s an endless cycle…your eyes lust, which is sin, and then your heart is led by your eyes, which is also sin. And the pattern continues. You can’t stop it on your own, no matter how hard you try. Sin will never satisfy you, and you simply don’t have the ability to fight it by yourself.
[God] satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things (Psalm 107:9).
God can satisfy your heart in a way that sex never can. If that sounds crazy to you, it’s a symptom of believing the lie that you are a sexual being first, and a spiritual being second. If that were the case, then something spiritual could never meet that deep sexual need. But the truth is, you are a spiritual being first, and a sexual being second. Your spirit, your soul, your inner person – those are the most important thing about you, not your sexual desires or orientation. God created us to have sexual desires, but not to be ruled or defined by them.
The Bible says that our souls are immortal, and that God has set eternity in our hearts. There’s no way that an immortal soul with a heart that’s wired for eternity could ever be satisfied by something as short-lived and insignificant as sex. No – our immortal, eternal desires can only be satisfied in an immortal, eternal God! And God wants to satisfy you. He invites you to listen to Him, be satisfied in Him, delight in Him, rejoice in Him, and receive pleasure from Him forever.
[S]et your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:1-2).
Your heart is going to be led by something, and you have to choose what that is. If you feed your heart sexual desires through your never-satisfied eyes, then your heart will never be satisfied. But if you feed your heart what really satisfies it, then it will be satisfied!
To find satisfaction in God, though, you have to fight our sin-saturated world and your own sinful nature on a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment basis. Setting your heart on heavenly things is not a one-time thing, it’s an all-the-time thing. You have to set your heart on the right path, because it wants to wander. You have to pull your heart away from envying sinners, because it wants the false satisfaction of sin. You have to apply your heart to understanding God’s Word and discipline yourself to be godly, because it will want to be lazy and apathetic. You have to intentionally think about things that are true, pure, and right, because otherwise your flesh will pull you towards things that are false, sinful, and wrong. Oh, and you shouldn’t be doing any of that alone. You need biblical community around you to help, since sin is deceitful and you can easily get hardened by it, and you’ll need their encouragement!
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).
If your heart is guarded from sin, focused on things that really matter, and satisfied in God, then that will be reflected in every part of your life, including your sexuality. A satisfied heart helps you see the lies of pornography, fantasy, masturbation, homosexuality, and promiscuity for what they are – empty promises that will only enslave you. When you see those sins for what they really are, and when you see God for who He really is, the choice to follow God becomes much easier. It’s still an everyday battle because our sinful nature still wants lead us astray, and because the devil is out there trying to destroy us, but you can experience true victory in Christ as you find your satisfaction in Him.
Where are you looking for satisfaction?